Friday, 16 March 2018

Rachel Kneebone

Deeply moving and incredible work by Rachel Kneebone a contemporary British artist whose complex porcelain sculptures comprise organic forms in a system of interaction that unravel the human experience.

Rachel Kneebone 

399 Days (detail), Rachel Kneebone, 2012 – 2013. © Rachel Kneebone. Photograph © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Rachel Kneebone -Descent
By Rachel Kneebone

By Rachel Kneebone

Rachel Kneebone
399 Days (detail), Rachel Kneebone, 2012 – 2013. © Rachel Kneebone. Photograph © Victoria and Albert Museum, London


Rachel Kneebone
399 Days, Rachel Kneebone, 2012 – 2013. © Rachel Kneebone. Photograph © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Rachel Kneebone
Rachel Kneebone Photo by David Bebber

Rachel Kneebone: Regarding Rodin


Mesmerising and astounding!

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Niall Boylan reveals he was ‘bought’ for £300 from mother and baby home

A very moving account by Niall Boylan on last night's Cutting Edge - RTE 1(see link below from 35mins.) It's very palpable that those who recount their testimonies often years after the event, still find it very difficult to talk about, and just shows that pain is still very much a present condition not something done and dusted in a distant past.


Having spent the first 18 months of his life in a mother and baby home, Niall Boylan received a round of applause when he accused the Catholic church of building ‘baby factories’ for the rich.
Sharing the pain of discovering a receipt showing he had been ‘bought’ as a baby, the 53-year-old DJ said the church and State had cost him a relationship with his mother.
‘They were selling babies to Americans, they were selling babies all over the country. I think, from what I remember, I found a small receipt many, many years ago and my father paid IR£300 at the time, in 1963 to an adoption agency, so I was literally bought!’
You can watch the clip back below on RTE Player
From 35mins
At the age of 46, broadcaster Niall told RTE’s Cutting Edge that he met his biological mother for the first time, and she shared a harrowing account of the day that her little boy was taken from her.
‘She was sent out to clean the church in Phibsborough, and when she came back I was gone. And that was the way it was, and mothers would be screaming and crying.
‘She told me stories of mothers who used to put phone numbers and addresses into the babies’ nappies just in case they were taken when they were gone.’
Finding out that he was adopted at 13, Niall said the most upsetting piece of information in his trawl for his real identity was finding paperwork that branded him ‘illegitimate’ from birth.
‘So you’re branded and stigmatised… and this was the church that did this.’
Having now met his birth mother four times, Niall grew upset at how he has been denied the opportunity to call her ‘Mam’, saying: ‘I just couldn’t bring myself to do that even though she is my mother, and that could be part of why I’ve an inherent hatred for the church.’
Learning then for the first time that he had a sister also when his mother spent three years in a mother and baby home, he said he only learned that he had a sister when the information was disclosed ‘casually’ in a letter from the adoption agency when he was 50.
Niall had been adopted from St Patrick’s Home on Dublin’s Navan Road by Frank and Lily Boylan, and grew up in Raheny with the couple’s biological daughter Geraldine and a younger brother Arthur, who was also adopted.
His sister Fran was adopted in 1966 by Maria and Christopher Kavanagh from Glasnevin.
Niall’s revelation came after panelist Maia Dunphy gave the Catholic church her ‘signs of life’ card, after former president Mary McAleese’s bid to reform the church from within this week.
After the TV presenter praised the comments calling for more women in the church as progressive, Niall expressed his revulsion at the church.
‘When you look at the Catholic church as an organisation, if it was a company… and they employed people responsible for genocide, rape, the abuse of children, the emotional distress they have put women through in laundries for years, misogyny, bigotry, homophobia.
‘You wouldn’t have anything to do with that company, and you’d make sure that the government closed that company down and got rid of it out of the country immediately as it’s poison.’
Revealing how he saw his birth certificate for the first time three weeks ago ‘purely by mistake’, Boylan said he was one of the 70,000 adopted people in the country just like him.
Joining back in the conversation after Niall spoke from the heart, Maia said that some people place great value on their faith and the church, and ‘to move on in a different spirit in important’.
Stopping the debate from continuing, presenter Brendan O’Connor said out of respect to his guest who had just opened up about his childhood in a mother and baby home, it wasn’t the time to air that view.


More vintage adverts which say it all








Disgusted by this

Minister Zappone’s visit to Italy. St Patrick’s Day opportunity to further build relationship with key EU Partner. Events in Milan, Rome, Embassy to the Holy See and Gildone to mark St Patrick’s Day


Building on strong enterprise, tourism and trade links will be the focus of a four-day St Patrick’s Day mission to Milan, Rome, the Embassy to the Holy See and the Italian town of Gildone by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone.
There will be a number of cultural events to celebrate the holiday including the greening of the Colosseum, the traditional receptions at the Embassies of Ireland to Italy and the Holy See as well the visit to Gildone, the home place of the Minister’s great-grandparents which is joining the worldwide celebrations for the first time.
Speaking before leaving Dublin Minister Zappone said:
“The bonds between Ireland and Italy are unbreakable. St Patrick may be our Patron Saint but he was of course of Roman and therefore Italian heritage. It is right that we should celebrate this historic link by seeking to further build on our modern relationship to the benefit of both countries.
In Milan I will be joining Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland, the IDA and Tourism Ireland to promote enterprise, tourism and trade. More than 300 Irish firms export to Italy to a value of €13 billion a year – ranging from medical devices, dairy products to telecommunication equipment. This trade translates into jobs at home.
Italian firms are also big employers in Ireland, ranging from food and wine importers to Unicredit’s asset management base in Dublin.
More and more Italian accents can be heard at our tourist destinations. Fifteen Italian airports now have links to Ireland with 22,000 seats available each week over the summer summer. During my visit a number of Irish Festivals will take place to promote Ireland as a holiday destination.
I look forward to meeting the Irish Community in Rome at the reception in our Embassy to Italy and when I attend a reception at the Embassy to the Holy See, it will be an opportunity for updates on the preparations for the World Meeting of Families in August.
I also look forward to visiting Gildone. The town and region will be celebrating St Patrick’s Day for the first time. During my brief visit there will be an opportunity to increase awareness about Ireland particularly when I meet local school children. Each year 32,000 Italian students visit Ireland to learn English.
It is more important than ever that Ireland strengthens relationships within Europe. St Patrick’s Day offers us a unique opportunity to do so and I look forward to using the busy days ahead to strengthening Irish-Italian friendships and links.”
https://merrionstreet.ie/en/News-Room/Releases/Enterprise_tourism_and_trade_focus_of_Minister_Zappone%E2%80%99s_visit_to_Italy_St_Patrick%E2%80%99s_Day_opportunity_to_further_build_relationship_with_key_EU_Partner_Events_in_Milan_Rome_Embassy_to_the_Holy_See_and_Gildone_to_mark_St_Patrick%E2%80%99s_Day.html

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Minister Zappone announces Selection Panel

This is a welcome development:

Minister Zappone announces Selection Panel to oversee appointments to the Collaborative Forum for former residents of Mother and Baby Homes

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone T.D. has today (13th March 2018) announced details of the Selection Panel to oversee appointments to the Collaborative Forum for former residents of Mother and Baby Homes.


The establishment of this inclusive Collaborative Forum is a direct response to the theme of “nothing about us without us” which emerged from the Minister’s consultations with former residents of these institutions and their advocates. This innovative approach will support, facilitate and empower former residents to actively contribute to decisions on matters of concern to them and their families.


Announcing the panel, the Minister said “the independent selection panel is essential to the successful commencement of this project. For this reason, suitably qualified persons and organisations from the areas of human rights promotion and protection, advocacy groups representing former residents, and academics with strong track records in relevant areas, were approached to assist in this process”.


The 6 members appointed to the panel are:


Ms Teresa Blake SC   Irish Human Rights and Equality
Ms Clodagh Malone   Coalition of Mother and Baby Homes Survivors 
Ms Mari Steed            Survivors Adoption Rights Alliance (based in USA)
Mr Fintan Dunne       Irish First Mothers
Dr James Gallen         Dublin City University
Prof Patricia Lundy   Ulster University

I want to thank each member of the panel for agreeing to take on this ambitious and challenging task. Their individual and collective experience and knowledge will be invaluable when selecting the members to participate in an effective and representative Forum” added the Minister.

The Selection Panel will finalise details of the selection process, including the format of a public information campaign, and then select Forum members from those persons who express an interest in participating. The panel will have access to the supports necessary to complete its work as soon as possible. To assist in this regard the Minister has asked Mr Jim Halley of 2Collaborate to lead and facilitate the process. Mr Halley is an internationally respected mediator and facilitator and he will continue in his role of facilitating the process of engagement with former residents. 

In addition, Mr Gerry Kearney, who has been appointed as Chair of the Forum, will also assist the panel in its work.

The Minister concluded by saying “I have tasked the panel with conducting an independent selection process having regard to the necessity for a balance and diversity of stakeholder
perspectives and experiences in the membership of the Forum. The membership of the Forum must reflect its remit to support and engage with those who were resident for a time in these institutions and those with comparable experiences in the former County Homes”.

Further information on this process will be published in the national media and on the website of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs
www.dcya.gov.ie


NOTE TO EDITORS

  • Minister Zappone published a Charter for the Forum last December. The Charter, which is available on the Department’s website, sets out the general functions of the Forum, provides a blueprint for its programme of work, and details key principles in the methodology and approach to be adopted in this important work.
  • The fundamental principle behind the Collaborative Forum is that those affected by a decision have the right to be centrally involved in the decision making process.
  • The Forum will consist of 20 representative members including the Chairperson appointed by the Minister.
  • In selecting members to the Forum, the Selection Panel will be obliged to have regard to relevant considerations to ensure a balance and diversity of stakeholder perspectives and experiences is achieved. The Panel will agree the criteria for selection and the arrangements for a public information campaign to seek expressions of interest from relevant persons.
  • Advertisements will be placed in the national media in the coming weeks inviting applications from interested parties. 

  • Biographical details for members of the Selection Panel

    Ms. Teresa Blake SC (Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission)
    Teresa Blake is a Senior Counsel and member of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission. She has practised at the Bar since 1995 in child protection and welfare law, asylum and immigration law and education disability. Teresa is currently Chairperson of the Mental Health Tribunal. She has represented various organisations to the United Nations human rights monitoring committees, and has been a member of the executive of the Irish Refugee Council, the Immigrant Council of Ireland, SPIRASI, and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties. Teresa’s first qualification was as a social worker.

    Ms. Clodagh Malone (Coalition of Mother and Baby Homes Survivors)
    Clodagh Malone is the founding member of Beyond Adoption Ireland, a Facebook group with nearly 1,200 members. Since 2010, she has helped adoptees search for information about their birth families. Beyond Adoption Ireland is a member of the Coalition for Motherand Baby Home Survivors Group. Clodagh is also the Chairperson of the St Patrick’s Group. She was born in St Patrick’s Mother and Baby Home, Navan Road, Dublin in 1970. Clodagh was adopted after 10 weeks and in 1994 found her birth mother. Within the adoption community, she is known as a “search angel” in relation to her work in assisting adoptees in tracing information.

    Ms. Mari Steed (Adoption Rights Alliance)
    Mari Steed was born in Bessboro Mother and Baby Home in Cork. She is the daughter of a Magdalene Laundry survivor and was adopted to America at eighteen months old. She serves as US Coordinator with Adoption Rights Alliance. In 2003, Mari co-founded Justice for Magdalenes, an advocacy organization which successfully campaigned for a State apology and restorative justice for survivors of Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries. She currently serves as the group’s Committee Director. In 2016, ARA and JFMR launched Clann Project, a comprehensive fact/testimony-gathering effort to shadow the current Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes, and to provide those wishing to give sworn testimony to the Commission pro bono legal advice and support. She also serves as vice president on the executive committee of US adoptee rights organization, Bastard Nation.

    Mr. Fintan Dunne (Irish First Mothers)
    Fintan Dunne is a journalist and a former information technology pioneer with Apple. He has a long association with the Irish First Mothers group - a peer support and reform advocacy group representing the views of women who were resident in Mother and Baby Homes. He has conducted in-depth audio interviews with many mothers who were resident in Mother and Baby Homes, and continues to advocate for justice on their behalf. Previously, Mr Dunne founded Men’s Aid, which ran Ireland’s first male-specific suicide prevention radio campaign.

    Dr. James Gallen (Dublin City University)
    James Gallen is a lecturer in the School of Law and Government at Dublin City University. His research interests include human rights, international law and transitional justice. His present research agenda and recent publications concern transitional justice and jus post bellum (justice after war). He has a particular interest in transitional justice approaches to historical abuse in consolidated democracies, especially child sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. In 2017 he was appointed as an Expert Advisor by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to advise on a transitional justice approach to the issue of Mother and Baby Homes.

    Professor Patricia Lundy (Ulster University)
    Patricia Lundy is Professor of Sociology at Ulster University. Her research interests include transitional justice, politics of memory, and dealing with the historical legacy of human rights abuse. Her international reputation as a leading authority in the field of historical inquiries is well established. She is a human rights activist and committed to participatory approaches which ensure that survivors needs drive the form that remedies take. Her current research project is a study of the NI Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIAI) and survivor experiences of the Inquiry process.

    Mr. Jim Halley (Facilitator)
    Jim Halley is the founder/director of 2Collaborate, which is regarded as a leading provider of facilitated consultations and mediation services in Ireland. As well as holding an Advanced Diploma in Mediation, he is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators (CIArb) and the International Mediators Institute (IMI). The majority of his work takes place in Public, Civil and Health Services environments. He is a Member of the Irish Management Institute and is an associate member of the Institute of Public Administration. Jim has been commissioned by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to facilitate the selection process and to assist the Selection Panel and Forum in their work.

    Mr. Gerry Kearney (Chair of the Collaborative Forum)
    Gerry previously served as Secretary General (SG) in the Department of Community Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. He has subsequently served as Chair of the Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee, the National Concert Hall, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland and the DCU incorporation process. He has also chaired the Moore Street Consultative Group. He was appointed as Chair of the Collaborative Forum for former residents of Mother and Baby Homes by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs in February 2018. 

Monday, 12 March 2018

Congratulations


CONGRATULATIONS to Catherine Corless and all the recipients of the people of the year awards (Galway.)

L-R Back Row: Catherine Corless, Marie Cahill, Joe Hansberry, Karen Mannion, Keara McDonald Sheeran, Morris O’Gorman, Evelyn O’Toole, David Burke, Olive Dermody Shaughnessy, John Muldoon; L-R Front Row: Charles Cooley, Pádraig Ó Beaghlaoich, Ollie Robinson, Caroline Rushe, Iggy Ó Muircheartaigh, Micheál Donoghue and Seán Flynn. Photo credit: Sean Lydon


CONGRATULATIONS also to Ishka films: Mother and Baby won best short film at the Dublin Film festival recently also.


Both Catherine Corless and Tuam Home Survivors Network secretary Breeda Murphy spoke on the Keith Finnegan show (GALWAY BAY FM) today, discussing the consultation process regarding the former Tuam Mother and Baby Home site. 
It's well worth listening to both contributions. They're both in favour of a full forensic excavation of the entire area at Tuam. Catherine speaks at the beginning of the show and Breeda at approx. 1:06.

You can hear Catherine Corless and Breeda Murphy on Keith Finnegan's show

Report summary on Tuam

Taken directly from the Report - the revelant section.
Very disappointing. 
Who's the author of this summary?



Sunday, 11 March 2018

Mother's Day 2018

Lilac memorial rose for my own mother
Today's Mother's Day, the sun's shining and yet again, I'm the happy recipient of cards, gifts and a great deal of love from my beautiful family. I'm very grateful to be blessed with such a life but my heart also goes out to those today who don't have the opportunity to share such simple pleasures. 

Having been fully immersed in the wrong doings of the former Mother and Baby Homes both here in Ireland and abroad for the past two years, my mind goes to the five mothers who are currently missing from the former Tuam Mother and Baby Home. During the week; Survivors, Residents and the General public were asked to engage in 'consultations on the options and appropriate courses of actions available to Government at the site of the former Tuam Home, Co.Galway' and asked to fill out (in my view) an inappropriate form. 

See scanned image below. 



In my view (and many others also share this opinion) the site at Tuam is a crime scene. 
If it was treated accordingly, the site would have been sealed off properly and there would be a full criminal investigation into the goings on rather than a ridiculous charade of a voting process. 
Many crimes were committed against those who died and survived their time in the Mother and Baby Home:

Forced and illegal adoptions
Vaccine trials without consent from the birth mothers
Child trafficking
Starvation and malnutrition 
Neglect
Deprivation on all levels, emotional, psychological, social, spiritual and physical
Falsification of documents
Humiliation
Degredation
and all sorts of abuse

For those who died; they were discarded, and in some cases, used as cadavers by medical students. All these crimes have been well established through countless testimony and investigative journalism. 
All these acts were perpetrated by the religious on young children and babies. 

But what of the five missing mothers?

Today, a family, a community, is still at a loss not knowing where those women are. 
Five mothers could be lying below the playground at the Tuam site having undergone a sinister end but the point is, we simply don't know what happened or if they are actually there or not.

What did happen to them?
Where are they?
How did they die?
How did those children die?
What really happened in those homes? 

The expert technical group have identified five options available to deal with the human remains at the site of the former Mother and Baby Home, Tuam ( this has been criticised as a voting process similar to the Eurovision song contest and an over emphasis on the costs):

1. Memorialisation
2. Exhumation of known human remains
3. Forensic excavation and recovery of known human remains 
4. Forensic excavation and recovery of human remains with further evaluation/excavation of other areas of interest.
5. Forensic excavation of the total available area.

I have gone along with this process as I believe number five is the preferred option but I also think the whole process is a farce.
Murder investigations do not endorse a public voting system. 
The general public are not asked what course of action should be pursued if a person goes missing. Yet, five mothers who had lives and loves have simply disappeared without trace. 
Death certificates exist but where are their remains?  

Many questions persist, a forensic excavation of the total available area would go some way to finding out some of the answers but What happens if the Government, who will be handed the forms from the facilitators (not the Council) come back and say they have received 300 requesting full excavation and 415 asking for memoralisation?  
How do we confirm that those numbers are correct?
This is not a transparent process and therein lies the problem.

Submissions should be made by email to: 
TuamConsultation@galwaycoco.ie 

or by post:

Tuam Consultation,
C/O Galway County Council, 
Áras an Chontae, 
Prospect hill, 
Galway, 
H91 H6KX, 
Ireland.

Closing date for submissions: 4pm on Friday 16th March 2018


Flowers for Magdalenes also takes place at Bohermore cemetery, Galway today at 2pm.

This is a memorial for women, who quite often, were incarcerated for life in the notorious Magdalene laundries for the supposed 'moral crime' of having or being a baby out of wedlock and who also simply disappeared from society, often without a trace.

These are CRIMES against innocents, nothing else and should be treated accordingly.

tuam-babies-campaigners-call-for-full-excavation-of-site-